Course Description

This course will present an overview of the major systems of philosophy that have developed in the Indian subcontinent, from antiquity to the present.  These include Vedic philosophies, Jainism, Buddhism, skeptical thought, and the interactions amongst all of these schools.  Themes covered will include each systems concept of reality (ontology), theories of knowledge (epistemology), ideas of the good life (ethics), and the ways in which each system conceives of difference: Why are there many perspectives on these questions?  Another recurring theme will be the relationship of philosophical reflection to embodied spiritual practice and the ways in which Indian philosophy is both similar to and different from Western philosophy.

Professor of Religion and Asian Studies

Jeffery D. Long

Jeffery D. Long is Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College, in Pennsylvania. He is associated with the Vedanta Society, DĀNAM (the Dharma Academy of North America) and the Hindu American Foundation. A major theme of Long's work is religious pluralism, a topic he approaches from a perspective informed by the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead and which he refers to as a "Hindu process theology." Dr. Long has authored three books, A Vision for Hinduism: Beyond Hindu Nationalism, Jainism: An Introduction, and The Historical Dictionary of Hinduism. He has published and presented a number of articles and papers in various forums including the Association for Asian Studies, the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, and the American Academy of Religion. He is currently working on three manuscripts: Indian Philosophy: An Introduction, a book on Hinduism in America, and another on Swami Vivekananda and his teachings.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Course Materials

    • Indian Philosophy Course Syllabus

    • Indian Philosophy: An Introduction (Manuscript)

  • 2

    Week 1: Darshana or Philosophy?

    • Indian Philosophy Video (Week 1)

    • Indian Philosophy Audio (Week 1)

  • 3

    Week 2: Vedic Thought, Part Two–Vedanta (The Philosophy of the Upanishads)

    • Indian Philosophy Video (Week 2)

    • Indian Philosophy Audio (Week 2)

  • 4

    Week 3: Jainism: The Way of the Spiritual Warrior

    • Indian Philosophy Video (Week 3)

    • Indian Philosophy Audio (Week 3)

  • 5

    Week 4: Buddhism: The Middle Path

    • Indian Philosophy Video (Week 4)

    • Indian Philosophy Audio (Week 4)

  • 6

    Week 5: The Mahayana: Further Developments in Buddhist Thought

    • Indian Philosophy Audio (Week 5)

    • Indian Philosophy Video (Week 5)

  • 7

    Week 6: Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, and Vaisheshika

    • Indian Philosophy Video (Session 6)

    • Indian Philosophy Audio (Session 6)

  • 8

    Week 7: The Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita and Medieval Vedanta

    • Zoom Details

    • Indian Philosophy Video (Session 7)

    • Indian Philosophy Audio (Session 7)

  • 9

    Week 8: Modern Vedanta

    • Zoom Details

    • Indian Philosophy Audio (Session 8)

    • Indian Philosophy Video (Session 8)